European Capital of Culture 2024

European Capital of Culture 2024
In 2024 Bodø and the region of Nordland will connect with Europe for a full year of culture and arts, with nature as our main stage.

ARCTICulation is Bodø’s theme for the year. It’s time to show Europe the pulse of the Arctic. The word ARCTICulation contains many aspects that are important to us; Arctic and Arcticulation, of course. But also Communication. Art. Cultivation. Community. And even Artig, a North Norwegian word for fun.

Our programme will celebrate and reflect the qualities of the Arctic. Its unique relationship with land, sea and nature. Its unknown and unapprechiated history. Its invention, resilence and imagination. We want to share with Europe some of our Arctic values, by delivering a challenging and innovative cultural programme. Bodø is ready to transition from Arctic to

ARCTICulation. From cold to cool. The doors of our region, and our hearts, are wide open to Europe.

Foto: Dan Mariner


The cultural programme will reflect on how we have learned to survive and even prosper from the same resources continuously for thousands and thousands of years here in the arctic. Another aspect is the awareness that Arctic people have of the environment. Living in some of the most vulnerable areas of Europe, we know how fragile we are. White snow on the mountain tops and crystal-clear sea water is a constant reminder of some of our most important challenges.

These three main themes run through the whole programme;

The art of nature

The Art of Nature is about exploring art in – or from – an Arctic perspective. It builds on the idea of being one with nature and the environment, as opposed to hiding from it.

We are programming projects and events that bring art into the nature, and vice versa. We want to articulate our responsibility of the nature we are part of, making nature itself our main stage.

Foto: Dan Mariner

Fish and ships

Fish and Ships is about our history, and through the programme we are communicating both the story of living in Nordland, and how our story is still living all around us today. Our living (hi)story. The story of stockfish trade has made an important contribution to the development of our nation, and it is still a living part of our everyday life when the fishing boats and factory trawlers dock right into ports all over Nordland. It also looks at and shares with a number of European partners our Cold War and Second World War histories and how they have impacted our collective consciousness and confidence.

Foto: Dan Mariner


Transition is highlighting connections with city development and capacity building projects. The towns and centres of Nordland have adapted to change through history. Surviving the rise and fall of the industrial era, becoming modern societies. In the years coming we will again be challenged, as our NATO base is moving, and we are preparing to develop a smart, living and sustainable city and region. We are fulfilling the transition from cold war target to a future where culture is connecting us to people throughout Europe, inspiring innovative dialogues and creating a true cultural hub.

Foto: Dan Mariner


The sun, with its one-year pulse of disappearing completely in the winter, only to stay up for a full month in summer. The moon, and the pulse of the tides and the following currents and maelstroms. The fish, coming and going at the same time year after year, making it possible to harvest, preserve and trade in a sustainable and natural way. The ever-changing and intense light, either the midnight sun keeping you awake during the summer nights, or the magic aurora borealis suddenly dancing on the dark blue winter sky. The movement of the indigenous people and the reindeer, following the seasons and pastures.

We have structured the programme of the year around the pulse of nature in the arctic;

Here comes the sun

Historically speaking, the first season of the year is about production and prosperity. Our history will form the foundation and beginning of the programme year, ARCTICulating the real story of the Nordland region.

Spring Optimism

Spring is optimism, forward thinking and youth. Spring Optimism will also focus on togetherness,unity and our common European identity. Together we will nourish a warm, democratic society and impede a new cold war.

Midsummer madness

Summer in the Arctic means full daylight for weeks on end. It means fresh seafood, “utepils” (which is the exact same pilsner as the rest of the year, just enjoyed outdoors) and the world’s sweetest strawberries growing around the clock. It means lack of sleep due to intense encounters with nature at its most beautiful.

Autumn storm

After a short, but intense summer programme, the Autumn Storms intervene. Our programme reflects the return of darker nights – it is time to address and discuss the substantial European topics of our time.

Arctic lights

The Arctic winter is not about darkness. It’s about colours, nuances, and shades. So is our programme. When the lights are dimmed, new perspectives and colours appear.

2020-02-2615:34 Otelie Knædal